July 24, 2024
What if everything around you, every element of your daily life could be weaponized against you and your nation? Space, cyberspace, civil society - all tools and arenas available to the enemy in addition to the traditional domains of warfare. That's the premise of the new book Old and New Battlespaces: Society, Military Power, and War authored by Jahara "Franky" Matisek and Buddhika Jayamaha. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Franky to the virtual studio to discuss how this concept impacts the nature and character of war. He joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to examine what this all means for policy, planning, recruitment and a host of issues for military and political leaders to consider moving forward.

What if everything around you, every element of your daily life could be weaponized against you and your nation? Space, cyberspace, civil society – all tools and arenas available to the enemy in addition to the traditional domains of warfare. That’s the premise of the new book Old and New Battlespaces: Society, Military Power, and War authored by Jahara “Franky” Matisek and Buddhika Jayamaha. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Franky to the virtual studio to discuss how this concept impacts the nature and character of war. He joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to examine what this all means for policy, planning, recruitment and a host of issues for military and political leaders to consider moving forward.

But I don’t like the fact that the U.S. military and most Western militaries are obsessed with this industrial age mindset and model for the way we train, equip and fight.

Jahara ‘Franky’ Matisek is the Senior Fellow at the Homeland Defense Institute and is an active duty U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and Senior Pilot serving as an Associate Professor in the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy and is the Director of Fellows for the Irregular Warfare Initiative. He has published over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals and policy relevant outlets on the topic of modern warfare, strategy, and security force assistance. Franky earned his PhD in Political Science at Northwestern University and his forthcoming book,  Old and New Battlespaces: Society, Military Power, and War , describes how sociopolitical-information warfare is leading to the weaponization of everything in society, as every citizen becomes a combatant.

Ron Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE.

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force or Department of Defense.

Photo Credit: Technology vector created by GarryKillian – www.freepik.com

2 thoughts on “EVERYTHING A WEAPON, EVERYONE A COMBATANT

  1. In this podcast, the Battle of Jena is mentioned and, thereafter, the reforms that came from and after same.

    Let me suggest that — for such nations as Russia and China — the Battle of Jena for them, this was the Old Cold War of yesterday; wherein, they watched the U.S./the West, (a) as per its “containment” and “roll back” strategies; herein, (b) working more “by, with and through” the more conservative elements of the world’s population, (1) thwart and undermine the Soviets/the communists efforts to “make the world safe for communism” and, ultimately, (2) eliminate most of the power, influence and control that the Soviet/the communist countries had built up and enjoyed throughout the world.

    Thus, when the U.S./the West, post-the Old Cold War, determined that it would “make the world safe for capitalism, globalization and the global economy,” such nations as Russia and China understood that:

    a. Because of this such U.S./Western initiative (which, much like communism, required significant and often unpopular political, economic, social and/or value “change”) —

    b. THEY (Russia, China, etc.) could now do to the U.S./the West what the U.S./the West had done to them; this, by (a) adopting “containment,” “roll back” and “elimination of power, influence and control” strategies themselves, herein, (b) working more “by, with and through” the more conservative elements of the populations of the world as per these causes.

    (After all, as in the “make the world safe for communism” initiative of the Soviets/the communists in the Old Cold War of yesterday — likewise with the “make the world safe for capitalism, globalization and the global economy” initiative of the U.S./the West in the New/Reverse Cold War of today — [a] the conservative elements of the world’s populations; these are [b] the “natural enemies” of those pressing for political, economic, social and/or value change.)

    As to major victories by Russia, China, etc. — as per these “borrowed-from-the-U.S./West-from-the-Old-Cold-War” strategies that I describe above — look no further than:

    a. Generally, the general trend toward conservatism that we are seeing throughout the world today and

    b. Specifically, the Brexit and the election of Donald Trump; wherein, (a) the conservative elements of the populations of such entities as Great Britain and the United States, these (b) put an end to much of the “make the world safe for capitalism, globalization and the global economy” efforts of the U.S./the West of late.

    Bottom Line Thought — Based on the Above:

    “War-fighting” — thus from the perspective that I provide here — this requires that the U.S./the West find a way to overcome (a) Russia, China, etc.’s “containment,” “roll back” and “elimination of power, influence and control” strategies and (b) their use of the conservative elements of the world’s populations in this cause.

  2. Note that — in my Old Cold War and New/Reverse Cold War argument above — everything, indeed, was then and is now a weapon and everyone, indeed, was then and is now a combatant. (As to the origins of these such “everything” words, see the title — and the substance — of this podcast.)

    As to this such thought, let’s look at, for example,

    a. “Winning” in the Old Cold War of yesterday; this, with religion as a weapon and with religious people as combatants back then:

    “Without the Pope, no Solidarity. Without Solidarity, no Gorbachev. Without Gorbachev, no fall of Communism. (In fact, Gorbachev himself gave the Kremlin’s long-term enemy this due, ‘It would have been impossible without the Pope.’)”

    (See the Public Broadcasting System [PBS] “Frontline” article “John Paul II and the Fall of Communism” by Jane Barnes and Hellen Whitney.)

    Next, let’s look at “winning” in the New/Reverse Cold War of today; this, with religion as a weapon and with religious people as combatants today. (In the first instance here, with Vladimir Putin speaking):

    “We see many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilisation. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.”

    (See the February 25th, 2022, London School of Economics blog article “Putin’s Spiritual Destiny” by Giles Fraser.)

    “Compounding it all, Russia’s dictator has achieved all of this while creating sympathy in elements of the Right that mirrors the sympathy the Soviet Union achieved in elements of the Left. In other words, Putin is expanding Russian power and influence while mounting a cultural critique that resonates with some American audiences, casting himself as a defender of Christian civilization against Islam and the godless, decadent West.”

    (See the “National Review” item entitled: “How Russia Wins” by David French.)

    The bottom line question — based on the matters that I presented in this and my earlier comment above — this such bottom line question would seem to be:

    How does one move forward to pursue and achieve the political, economic, social and/or value “changes” associated with one’s “revolution” (along communist lines back-in-the-day; along capitalism, globalization and the global economy lines today); this, in such a manner as to not provide one’s enemies with the ability to use conservatism, and the conservative elements of the states and societies of the world, to defeat you?

    (People who can answer this question, and who can successfully do this “revolutionary” work in such a significant, common and frequently deadly “resistance to revolution”/”resistance to change” environment, THESE are the people that the U.S./the West’s military, and other agencies must find, develop and “sign up” — today and going forward?)

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